The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team hosted the UC Irvine on Tuesday for an afternoon matinee. Despite a strong comeback effort, the Lady T-Birds fell to the Anteaters 71-64.
Offense was hard to come by for the T-Birds in the first quarter, as they were outscored by the Anteaters 17-8 through the first 10 minutes of play.
SUU picked it up in the second quarter, as they matched the Anteaters shot for shot. They went into the half trailing 33-24 on Kiana Johnson’s eight first-half points.
Showing no signs of giving up, the Thunderbirds came out in the second half and put up 20 points in back to back quarters. They outscored the Anteaters 20-15 in the fourth and went on a 13-2 scoring run to get themselves within three points of the lead with 1:10 remaining. UC Irvine made six straight free throws in the final minute of play to keep the Thunderbirds at bay and escape with the 71-64 victory.
Whitney Johnson led all scorers with 20 points on 60 percent shooting. The senior also pulled down eight rebounds and added one assist. Kiana Johnson was one rebound shy of her first double-double of the season as she finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Lady T-Birds will now hit the road for a five-game stretch that includes non-conference games against Oregon, Arizona, Grand Canyon, and the start of Big Sky play in Montana. Tip off against No.9 Oregon is set for 3:00 p.m. Mountain time on Saturday December 9.
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SUU Athletics Strategic Communications